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Daily Stress and Anxiety

StressAnxietyJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Not to be confused with anxiety disorders, occasional anxiousness is considered a normal part of everyday living. Most adults have experienced short-term anxiety during times of loss or when dealing with difficult work or family matters. Many can relate to unpleasant sensations of apprehension or stomach jitters before a job interview, a performance, or while awaiting the results of medical tests, as well as many other challenging anxiety-provoking situations. The feelings of temporary discomfort are triggered by the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response to real or perceived danger. This stress response heightens the senses and provides the body with a burst of energy to assist with either fighting or fleeing.

Frightening experiences whether real or imagined automatically trigger the fight-or-flight response. The brain must ascertain whether a situational trigger encompasses a real threat and the need to fight or flee, as in fear; versus a situation that more resembles a fantasy or dream that doesn’t actually require any action, as in anxiety. While anxiety and fear produce identical physiologic effects, fear is a response to a clear and present danger and the need to seek safety. Normal anxiety is intermittent and expected based on certain events and situations. As well, anxiousness may occur as a result of a psychological and emotional response to a perceived threat. An anxiety disorder results when this response becomes triggered too easily and too frequently.

Anxiety that is characterized by persistent, irrational, seemingly uncontrollable and overwhelming dread that interferes with daily activities and reduces quality of life is considered a serious mental health condition that merits consultation with a healthcare practitioner. Per the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common category of mental illness in the U.S. Constant anxiety takes a toll on health, increasing the stress hormone cortisol, raising blood pressure and driving inflammation that increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. As well, fully one third of adults report feeling nervous, irritable, fatigued or angry due to high levels of daily stress.

Norman B. Anderson, PhD, Chief Executive Office of the American Psychological Association (APA) states, “America is at a critical crossroads with it comes to stress and our health.” Statistics show that chronic stress is rapidly becoming a public health crisis with the majority of American adults and almost a third of children suffering from moderate to high stress. Only 40 percent of Americans rate their health as very good or excellent. While 54 percent agree that physical activity is an important tool for stress reduction, only 27 percent are happy about their own level of exercise. Many also blame unhealthy eating patterns and poor sleep quality on high levels of stress.

While Americans cite lack of willpower as the biggest obstacle to adopting healthier behaviors, people can structure their environment to increase the likelihood of making healthy choices to reduce stress and feelings of anxiousness. Traditional approaches for coping with chronic stress and anxiety range from therapy to anxiety-relieving medications, which help manage symptoms but also come with a risk of dependence. Traditional treatment can be complemented with natural approaches. Dietary considerations, physical activity, meditation and good sleep habits, as well as nutritional and herbal supplements are seen as effective strategies for decreasing symptoms of daily stress and occasional anxiety without adding to the risk of serious side effects.

  • Mind/body approaches, such as deep breathing, meditation and conscious mindfulness help to ease muscle tension and promote calmness. Studies show that meditation practice is beneficial for stress and anxiety reduction. Practicing mindfulness, which allows a focus on the present, helps to improve brain functions that enhance the ability to avoid excessive stress responses.
  • Physical activity directly reduces excess cortisol by using the energy cortisol creates. Exercise is a form of physical stress that relieves mental stress by stimulating the release of endorphins, the brain’s natural pain relievers and mood elevators.
  • A diet rich in complex carbs, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels and eliminate highs and lows. Sugar and refined carbs can cause mood swings and altered energy levels, potentially making it more difficult to ease anxiety.
  • Ashwagandha, a powerful rejuvenating ayurvedic herb helps to stabilize the body’s response to stress and reduces anxiousness without causing drowsiness. Considered an adaptogen, ashwagandha helps regulate natural bodily processes to promote overall health and wellness.
  • Rhodiola, a widely used adaptogenic herb, helps to relieve anxiety symptoms and combats the effects of prolonged stress-related mental and physical fatigue. Rhodiola increases the body’s stress resistance by balancing stress hormone levels, raising and lowering cortisol as needed.
  • L-theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in the tea plant, has been shown to support relaxation without inducing drowsiness. L-theanine has neuroprotective, mood-enhancing and relaxation properties, and has a positive effect on neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, aiding stress reduction while improving alertness, concentration and attention span.
  • B vitamins are vital to a healthy functioning nervous system and help reduce stress, as well as stabilize mood. Vitamin B6, in particular, helps to boost mood by supporting production of serotonin and GABA, calming neurotransmitters that can positively affect emotional response.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of overall heathy functioning:

Stress SuppressStress Suppress by Diamond Formulations: This non-drowsy, bestselling product is formulated to address symptoms of daily stress and frustration. Specific nutrients support healthy levels of calming neurotransmitters, encourage balanced stress and inflammatory responses, improve symptoms of stress and support a general sense of wellbeing. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, Kosher formulation.

Ayur-Ashwaganda 300...Ayur-Ashwagandha 300 mg by Douglas Laboratories®: This traditional adaptogenic herb is utilized as a general tonic to support energy production and improve mental and physical performance. Ashwagandha’s natural calming properties support the body during times of emotional and physical stress. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, corn, sodium, sugar, starch and artificial coloring, preservatives and artificial flavoring. Non-GMO formulation.

B SpectrumB Spectrum by Professional Supplement Center®:  ON SALE! This highly bioavailable vitamin B complex provides activated forms of all B vitamins in support of adrenal, neurological, cardiovascular, immune and stress-related functions, as well as healthy mood. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, vegan formulation.

RhodiolaRhodiola by Integrative Therapeutics®: Clinically studied rhodiola has been utilized for centuries to combat fatigue, increase physical strength and enhance mental stamina, as well as improve the body’s ability to cope with internal and external stress. Free of sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, corn, gluten, soy, dairy and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

L-TheanineL-Theanine by Pure Encapsulations®: This unique, amino acid formulation derived from green tea promotes relaxation, helps to moderate occasional stress and supports healthy mood and cellular function. Gluten free, hypoallergenic, Non-GMO, vegan formulation.


Do You Have Normal Anxiety or a Disorder? https://www.verywellmind.com/is-it-normal-anxiety-or-an-anxiety-disorder-2584401
6 Tips to Reduce Daily Stress and Anxiety. https://time.com/4748658/stress-anxiety-ticortisol/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=time-health&utm_content=20190805
Stressed in America. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/stressed-america
Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2959081/
Exercising to Relax. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax


AnxietyJacquie Eubanks RN BSNAnyone who has experienced anxiety is familiar with what can be described as an unpleasant feeling, a vague sense of unease and apprehension. While anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the US, virtually everyone has felt anxious at some point in time. Symptoms such as mild stomach discomfort, perspiration, a quickening of the heartbeat, are common reactions to stressful situations. Similar to fear, anxiety triggers the fight or flight stress response and the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline, to see you through a momentary anxiety producing circumstance.

Normal intermittent anxiety is beneficial in certain temporary situations, a job interview, a college exam, public speaking, or what a performer would call opening night jitters. When anxiety becomes chronic or irrational and begins to interfere with normal everyday life, it can lead to physical illness and a psychological disorder diagnosis. Dissimilar to fear, which is a rational response to a real danger, chronic irrational anxiety generally lacks a clear or realistic cause, yet still produces physical responses that can become debilitating and lead to chronic conditions.

Chronic disproportionate anxiety that negatively affects sleep and concentration or results in avoidance of social situations, is classified as a disorder. While treatable, statistics show that a large percentage of adults who have anxiety disorders never receive treatment, such as therapy or medications. People who have undiagnosed or untreated anxiety disorders are more likely to self-medicate with nicotine, alcohol or street drugs that may temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms, but may also greatly affect general health and wellbeing in the long term. Those who are struggling to manage the symptoms of persistent, but not debilitating, anxiety may have anxious thoughts or behaviors that may be improved by dietary and lifestyle changes.

  • Eating more protein and healthy fats, not skipping meals, and avoiding sugar and refined carbs can keep blood sugar stable and eliminate blood sugar crashes. Low blood sugar can initiate a stress response and the release of stress hormones that feels eerily like anxiety.
  • Gradually decreasing caffeine intake until you can eliminate it entirely can help to improve sleep, stabilize energy and improve the stress response.
  • Getting adequate, restful sleep helps to eliminate the anxiety-insomnia-sleep deprivation cycle, leaving one less vulnerable to anxiety. To help wind down in the evening, dim the lights an hour before bedtime, take a warm shower or bath, or do a short meditation and some gentle stretching to help you relax.
  • Taking probiotics and eating fermented foods can help to promote healthy gut flora and improve gastrointestinal function. Digestive tract health can affect mood and may play a role in anxiety disorders.
  • Take every opportunity to get in some physical activity, as exercise helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

Anyone who struggles with anxiety will tell you that managing anxiety is not an easy task. Good lifestyle habits are certainly beneficial, as proper diet, sufficient exercise, and good quality sleep can noticeably improve the anxiety and stress response. As well, proper supplementation can improve the quality of sleep, provide calming minerals, support mood and neurotransmitter production and aid adrenal function, resulting in anxiety relief, improved focus, increased energy and more optimal stress management.

L-theanine – Found naturally in green tea, this amino acid enhances cognition and focus, while surprisingly promoting relaxation without inducing drowsiness. Utilized to naturally relieve anxiety and stress, L-theanine calms both the body and the mind, bringing about a state of wakeful relaxation. When you need to chill out, L-theanine can help.

Magnesium – Widely known as a calming mineral, magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical processes, including energy production, blood glucose regulation and stress management, as well as immune system and adrenal function support. Magnesium deficiency is linked to symptoms of anxiety, depression, mood imbalances, and insomnia, all of which benefit from magnesium repletion.

GABA – Synthesized naturally in the brain and widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, GABA is a major neurotransmitter that has relaxation-inducing and stress-relieving effects. Low levels are GABA are associated with anxiety, depression and insomnia. Clinical studies have shown that GABA supplementation can promote feelings of calmness, increase metal clarity and focus, and support more restful sleep.

Kava – Used traditionally for centuries to enhance relaxation, improve mood and support sleep, kava has been shown to elevate mood, improve stress management, reduce the negative effects of stress, and relieve symptoms associated with generalized anxiety, including persistent worry, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue and muscle tension.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulas to support overall health and a healthy stress response:

L-Theaninel-Theanine by Pure Encapsulations: One capsule provides 200 mg of l-theanine as Suntheanine®, a unique amino acid that provides helpful relaxation support, and eases occasional nervous tension and irritability with causing drowsiness. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Magnesium (glycinate...Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Encapsulations: Magnesium supports the metabolism and utilization of nutrients and the proper functioning of critical enzymatic and physiological functions. Important for muscle function and mood balance, magnesium in glycinate form is less likely to cause bowel discomfort than other forms of magnesium. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Gaba 750 mgGABA 750 mg by Integrative Therapeutics: One capsule provides 750 mg of GABA in support of the neuroendocrine system. This pure vegetarian formula is gluten, soy, dairy and sugar free.


Kava (Formerly...Kava by Herb Pharm: This liquid extract is sourced from sustainably harvested Kava grown in the Vanuatu Islands in the South Pacific according to ancient agricultural traditions. Kava provides nervous system support, promoting peaceful relaxation and stress reduction. This formula is prepared from the whole rhizome and root and is extracted with pharmaceutical grade certified organic grain alcohol. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Kava KavaKava Kava by Professional Solutions: Formulated with ecologically harvested Kava Kava from Vanuatu, this potent herbal extract supports calm, relaxation and bodily systems negatively affected by stress. Vegetarian formula. Contains Non-GMO soy.


What is Anxiety? https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-anxiety
Understanding the Anxious Mind. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/magazine/04anxiety-t.html
Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill
Murray, Michael, M.D. Easing the Agony of Anxiety & Panic Attacks. Vitamin Retailer, February 2017
Is It Normal Anxiety or an Anxiety Disorder? https://www.verywell.com/is-it-normal-anxiety-or-an-anxiety-disorder-2584401